A new -e-change' movement is projected to have city folk heading to country and coastal towns in search of a better lifestyle and super connectivity, according to new research by Bernard Salt.
The Super Connected Lifestyle Locations Report commissioned by nbn*, identifies more than 600 Australian -lifestyle towns' which are expected to harness fast broadband to allow residents to work from home, minimise commute times and increase their quality of living.
Key findings from the research include:
The rise of the lifestyle town – Ranging in size and location, the lifestyle town offers more affordable properties which often have scenic views or additional space to spare. These towns are also mostly found within a commutable distance of a capital city. The search of -lifestyle happiness' was listed as the main reason (72 per cent) for Aussies making the move to these locations, with -the cost of living' also listed as a key factor for almost a third (31 per cent) of those surveyed.
Access to fast and reliable broadband is vital to the -e-change' age – When making a move to the country or the coast, having a reliable Internet connection is considered by those surveyed as most important for providing access to health services (76 per cent), followed by being able to remain close to friends (68 per cent) as well as enabling access to leisure activities (67 per cent) and employment opportunities (65 per cent).
Reducing commute times can improve lifestyle satisfaction – Around 1 in 6 (16 per cent) Australians surveyed are unhappy with their lifestyle due to work commute times. However, those who have made a sea-change report being much happier with their work-life balance than those who have not made the move (69 per cent compared with 58 per cent). It's also estimated approximately 400,000 Aussies have already cut down on their commute times by working from home, with predictions this will grow to be more than a million workers in the next decade.
Baby Boomers lead the way – Over the last five years, 1 in 5 (21 per cent) Aussies surveyed over the age of 55 sold-up and relocated to coastal retreats. The reasons given by this cohort for making the move include the pursuit of -a better living environment' (65 per cent), -a slower pace of life' (55 per cent), -housing affordability' (29 per cent) and -escaping from traffic' (15 per cent).
Author of the Super Connected Lifestyle Locations report, demographer Bernard Salt said:
'While many of us may be experiencing a post-summer-holiday lull, this research suggests the dream of packing-up your home and living in a coastal or country town may not be so far away.
'We are witnessing a quiet lifestyle revolution in suburban Australia. The fusion of a relaxed lifestyle in tree-change and sea-change locations combined with super connectivity provided by the nbn™ network, is giving people even greater scope to take greater control of where they live and how they work.
'I predict a cultural shift or -e-change movement' which could see the rise of new silicon suburbs or beaches in regional hubs as universal access to fast broadband drives a culture of entrepreneurialism and innovation outside our capital cities."
Example -e-change zones' include:
· Kiama, NSW
· Byron Bay, NSW
· Armidale, NSW
· Queanbeyan, NSW/ACT
· Bacchus Marsh, VIC
· Ballarat, VIC
· Creswick, VIC
· Cairns, QLD
· Toowoomba, QLD
· Sunshine Coast, QLD
· St. Helens, TAS
· Triabunna, TAS
· Cygnet, TAS
· Victor Habour, SA
· Kangaroo Island, SA
· McLaren Vale, SA
· Mandurah, WA
· Busselton, WA
· Geraldton, WA
· Howard Springs, NT
Access to the nbn™ network is scheduled to reach almost one in four Australian homes and businesses by June 2016, with new construction work set to be complete or underway across 1,500 communities and suburbs over the next 12 months. There are currently around 1.7 million premises around the country which can already connect to the nbn™ network, with every Australian set to have access by 2020.
Visit our nbn™ blog series to learn more about the how access to fast broadband is helping Aussie families make an -e-change'.